We visited the forests of south Milwaukee yesterday: Cudahy Nature Preserve, Warnimont Park, and Seminary Woods. The trees are filling in, which means the light levels are low and the flowers are fewer. But there were still some gems!
Early Meadow-rue or Quicksilver-weed (Thalictrum dioicum) has very strange flowers. It actually has two types of flower: male and female. The male flowers grow in clusters and look like a tiny jellyfish dangling at the ends of thin stems. Somehow, it's a type of buttercup. They bloom early, but we were fortunate to find a few remaining flowers in Cudahy Nature Preserve.
Nodding Trilliums or Whip-poor-will Flowers (Trillium cernuum) hang underneath three big leaves. The white petals curve backwards, and the green sepals, which are almost the same size as the petals, curve backwards as well. This gives the flower a lovely white-green pattern. The anthers, which are often pink, curve outwards gracefully like an art nouveau fountain. The flowers are smaller than the well-loved Large-flowered Trillium and bloom a bit later. We found some glorious pink ones in Seminary Woods, but I didn't get a good picture of those.
Yellow Pimpernel (Taenidia integerrima) is one of the more interesting examples of the numerous members of the carrot family with clusters of tiny yellow flowers. Yellow Pimpernel, which smells wonderful, produces what botanists would call loose, open, compound umbels. To my eye it looks rather like an avant-garde space-age light fixture. A chic flower, the Yellow Pimpernel, which is only fitting.
Common Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) is one of the less interesting examples of yellow flowers in the same family. No, that's harsh. They grow in great profusion, they smell great, and their flowers are a beautiful gold. The flowers would make a nice pattern for a set of retro curtains, which is more than you can say for my mug.
Wood Betony or Canadian Lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis) was growing in great profusion in Warnimont Park. Its leaves are like thick, heavy spikes of fern. The flowers grow in spirals on thick stalks, and are most commonly a pale yellow. The Wood Betony of Warnimont, however, were mostly of the variety that have a red hood. Lovely, aren't they?
The last flower for now is Long-styled Sweet Cicely or Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis), which is not the same thing as the delightful European kitchen herb, sweet cicely, used to impart an anise-flavour. Long-styled Sweet Cicely has similar delicate fern-like leaves, similar clusters of tiny white flowers, and similarly smells of liquorice, which is, you may have guessed, why the Europeans used the same common name for it. If look closely, you'll see where the first part of the common name, "long-styled," comes from.
That's all for now! Hope you enjoyed!
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